Idaho Senate candidates debate the federal government’s role in health care and social issues


The candidates in the race for an Idaho Senate seat in the United States Congress covered a wide range of issues in Monday night’s debate, with a focus on inflation, the national debt and abortion.

US Senator Mike Crabow, Republican of Idaho, is seeking his fourth term in the US Senate, a seat he has held since 1999. His opponents, Democrat David Roth and independent candidate Scott Cleveland, scored a Monday afternoon debate on Idaho public television that It aired on Tuesday evening due to scheduling issues. Cleveland is the owner of an investment and brokerage firm in Eagle, and Roth is the executive director of the Bonneville Youth Development Council in Idaho Falls.

Crabo defended many aspects of his record in Congress from both opponents, including criticism of his bipartisan infrastructure bill vote from Cleveland and his vote against the CHIPS Act and the Roth Charter Act. Cleveland said any bill that would add to the federal deficit must be voted against in Congress.

Crabo said he fought effectively and vigorously for the Idaho principles, and said he voted against every spending bill in Congress. What America needs is a return to Republican-controlled government to continue the successes the country had before the election of President Joe Biden, when inflation was much lower and crime statistics were lower, Crabo said.

“The solution here is to give the GOP and the Republican Senate control of the agenda so that we don’t continue to see Biden (Senator Chuck) Schumer and (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi driving this wild spending,” Crabo said. that we’re talking about today.”

Roth said that while it is important to examine the causes of inflation and the national debt, he criticized Crapo’s support of former President Donald Trump’s tax cuts that added $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, and said more should be done to invest in local communities.

Krabo says the federal government should not interfere in the healthcare market

Candidates submitted questions about health care and prescription drug costs, including Crapo’s vote against the Inflation Cut Act, which is expected to lower costs for Medicare seniors by negotiating drug prices and slightly lower premiums.

Krabo said he voted against the bill because it would not reduce inflation, and said he has consistently opposed efforts to increase federal participation in the country’s health care economy. Krabo said he has Special Invoice That would reduce costs without government intervention by promoting opportunities for alternative medicines that would increase competition in the market.

As the world’s largest buyer of drugs, Roth said, the United States should exercise more power over drug pricing, and as someone with type 2 diabetes, he supports efforts to lower the cost of insulin.

“Health care has to be affordable,” Roth said. “We need to support the Affordable Care Act…and options to reduce these costs for Americans across the country.”

Cleveland said more competition would be effective in lowering drug prices and improving quality, and said the same should be done with regard to school choice.

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On gay rights and abortion, candidates disagree on state rights

The candidates also discussed same-sex marriage, and Crabo said he would not vote for the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage nationally, saying the US Supreme Court was right to define it as an issue of state rights and it should remain that way.

Roth, as a member of the LGBTQ community, said he would vote for the bill so that all people have the same rights to marry no matter what status they are in.

Cleveland said he’s “gay OK” and doesn’t think gays should face any kind of housing or employment discrimination, but he doesn’t think they should receive special treatment like celebrating Gay Pride month or having a rainbow flag to represent gay pride.

“If we are to reduce discrimination in America, we need to treat everyone equally, including the LGBT community,” Cleveland said.

On abortion, the candidates similarly opposed, with Crabow and Cleveland saying it’s a state rights issue that each state must decide on its own.

“Anything that is not in the United States Constitution is for the state to decide,” Cleveland said.

Roth said abortion laws should be enforced consistently across the country.

I think those basic rights, those rights that make up who we are as Americans are not left to the states. Ruth said. “It is absolutely ridiculous that two people sitting at the broker’s table have fewer rights here than if they were to drive an hour west. We are the USA, we are one country, so your identity as a person shouldn’t differ from place to place.”

Candidates for the Idaho Seat in the US Senate
Left: Independent candidate Scott Cleveland, Republican Mike Crapo and Democrat David Roth take questions from reporters at the Monday afternoon Idaho Public Television debate. (Aaron Koons/Public Idaho Television)

On affordable housing, two candidates see the need for expanded tax credits in Idaho

The nominees also touched on affordable housing in Idaho, and all three acknowledged it as an important issue. Cleveland said the poor will always be among the Society No matter what we do, there are social safety nets with nonprofits, but he doesn’t see a role for the federal government in building affordable housing.

Krabo said he had called for expansion and strengthening the housing tax credit for low-income people to stimulate more affordable housing construction.

“We need more capital earmarked in the United States to build affordable housing, and that’s exactly what this tax credit has a great track record of doing,” Krabow said. “I think that’s one of the most important things we can do at this point.”

Roth, as a board member of Habitat for Humanity in Idaho Falls, said he is aware of the issue and tax incentives must match companies that will pay their workers a living wage to avoid exacerbating the problem. He wants to see more partnerships between private businesses and local governments, and tax credits for first-time homebuyers.

Other Idaho congressional candidates refuse to debate

The debate is the only one that will be held for Idaho seats in Congress, because Rep. Mike Simpson and Ross Fulcher, both Republicans, Idaho, refuse to participate in debates with their opponents. Simpson also declined to participate in the Republican preliminary debate in May.

Idaho Capital Sun reporter Clark Corbin was a member of the correspondents panel for Monday’s debate, asking questions of the candidates.

Two other discussions are also planned:

  • At 8 p.m. MST / 7 p.m. PST on October 24, the Idaho Public Instruction debate director which includes Republican Debbie Critchfield and Democrat Terry Gilbert will be broadcast live on Idaho Public Television and broadcast on YouTube.
  • At 8 p.m. MST / 7 p.m. PST on October 28, the Idaho governor’s debate with Republican Scott Bidke and Democrat Terry Pickens Manueler will be broadcast live on Idaho Public Television and streamed on YouTube.

The general election will be held on November 8, and the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is October 28.

To watch a recording of the debate, go to Idaho Public Television YouTube channel or the Archived Recordings. The Idaho Debates producers will also rebroadcast the debates with captions in Spanish for the first time, and Spanish versions will also be available online.

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